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Anode sheath contributions in plasma thrusters

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Anode sheath contributions in plasma thrusters


Published March 1994
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Thesis advisor(s): Oscar Biblarz

"March 1994."

Thesis (Degrees of Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineer and M.S. in Astronautical Engineering) Naval Postgraduate School, March 1994

Includes bibliographical references

Contributions of the anode to Magnetoplasmadynamic (MPD) thruster performance are considered. High energy losses at this electrode, surface erosion, and sheath/ionization effects must be controlled in designs of practical interest. Current constriction or spotting at the anode, evolving into localized surface damage and considerable throat erosion, is shown to be related to the electron temperature's (T sub e) rise above the gas temperature (T sub o) . An elementary one-dimensional description of a collisional sheath which highlights the role of T sub e is presented. Computations to model the one- dimensional sheath are attempted using a set of five coupled first-order, nonlinear differential equations describing the electric field, as well as the species current and number densities. For a large temperature nonequilibrium (i. e., T sub e > > T sub o), the one-dimensional approach fails to give reasonable answers and a multidimensional description is deemed necessary. Thus, anode spotting may be precipitated by the elevation of T sub e among other factors. A review of transpiration cooling as a means of recouping some anode power is included. Active anode cooling via transpiration cooling would result in (1) quenching T sub e, (2) adding 'hot' propellant to exhaust. and (3) reducing the local electron Hall parameter. However significant technical problems remain. Distribution Limitation(s):

Mode of access: World Wide Web

System requirements: Adobe Acrobat Reader

US Navy )USN) author


Publisher Monterey, California: Naval Postgraduate School;Springfield, Va.: Available from National Technical Information Service
Pages 116
Language en_US
Call number ocn640618158
Digitizing sponsor Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library
Book contributor Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library
Collection navalpostgraduateschoollibrary; fedlink; americana
Notes some content may be lost due to the binding of the book.

Full catalog record MARCXML

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